Digital marketing helps “As Above” exceed estimates, but it's no match for “Guardians”
Low-budget horror flick “As Above/So Below” and Pierce Brosnan thriller “November Man” won't put up much of a fight against box-office champ “Guardians of the Galaxy” over Labor Day Weekend.
Thriller “As Above/So Below” will slightly exceed analysts’ $10 million weekend estimates. On Friday, the Universal film's box office hit $3.2 million and is expected to generate a $11.3 take over the holiday for a possible fourth-place finish.
“As Above” may run neck-and-neck with Warner Bros. teen weepy, “If I Stay.” The teen melodrama took in $2.6 million in box office receipts on Friday and is headed for a $11.8 million weekend and a potential third-place finish. Part of “As Above's” box office performance is due to Legendary and Universal's promotional campaign, which has been data-driven and largely digitally-based rather than TV-focused. It was designed to maximize impact with horror fans and Hispanic moviegoers, who are the targeted demographic.
“November Man” is expected to perform just slightly below expectations. Relativity's spy film brought in $2.2 on Friday evening, placing it on track for a $9.8 million weekend and a potential sixth-place finish. Analysts had estimated a $10 million opening over the long weekend.
But neither debut will pose any threat to Marvel's status as king of the summer box office.
“Guardians” took in $3.8 million on Friday evening putting it on track for yet another first-place weekend. Business is expected to pick up over the holiday for the sci-fi comedy as parents and kids take a break from back-to-school shopping. That puts the film on pace to take in nearly $20 million over the four-day weekend, up from last weekend's three-day total of $17.2 million.
Paramount's “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” saw $2.7 million in box office receipts on Friday, with expectations that it will come in second at $14.8 million over the four days. “Let's Be Cops” will round out the top five. Fox's buddy cop comedy brought in $2 million Friday night and is headed toward a $10 million weekend.
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is still holding strong with older audiences. The Dreamworks/Participant film will remain in the top 10 with a potential $6 million weekend.
“November Man” earned a B+ cinema score and the domestic distribution rights were bought by Relativity for $3 million. The Roger Donaldson-directed adaptation of the popular Bill Granger novel follows a former CIA agent Peter Devereaux, who is lured out of retirement for a final mission to protect a key witness (former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko) in a case involving Russian war crimes. That puts him at odds with the Kremlin and his former CIA protege, played by Luke Bracey.
“As Above/So Below” is the first Legendary Pictures film to be released under the new partnership with Universal Pictures after the film company ended its long-running deal with Warner Bros. last summer. The movie is Legendary's first foray into the horror genre, and its $5 million production budget is a departure as well. Thomas Tull‘s film company is usually synonymous with big-budget blockbusters like “Godzilla,” “Man of Steel” and the “Batman” and “Hangover” movies.